Sportsnet’s John Shannon revealed on Twitter that the Ottawa Senators and the National Capital Commission (NCC) have taken the next step in bringing the team to the downtown core. On Thursday the NCC is scheduled to make a Lebreton Flats announcement.
The Senators are part of the RendezVous Lebreton group along with Trinity Developments owner John Ruddy. According to Bruce Garrioch, the announcemnt Thursday won’t secure the deal, but will give the RendezVous Lebreton group 6-12 months to secure financing for the expected $3 billion dollar proposal.
Senators and NCC to make Lebreton Flats Announcement
Hearing the Senators and NCC will make a positive announcement on Thursday, concerning an overarching land agreement on LeBreton Flats. One small step in the right direction.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) January 23, 2018
The Senators earned “preferred bid” status in 2016, and have been pushing for a downtown move for sometime. During the Centennial Classic in the nations capital, owner Eugene Melnyk threatened to relocate the team, in an effort to gain leverage on the city. It wasn’t something that Ottawa mayor Jim Watson appreciated. Earlier this month he stated that the city “should not be using property tax dollars to subsidize an NHL team.”
Currently the team plays in Kanata, an Ottawa suburb roughly 20-25 minutes away from the downtown core, however on gamenights the travel time can be exceptionally long; particularly for fans on the opposite end of the city. Combine that with the fact that the only other option are public shuttles taking the same highways, or crowded city buses and for many fans the commitment isn’t a particularly pleasant idea.
The NCC has scheduled 35 minutes to discuss the future of Lebreton, Thursday morning at 11:20.
Embed from Getty Images